NCLT admits Sahara group subsidiary into insolvency | Mint
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Business News/ Companies / NCLT admits Sahara group subsidiary into insolvency
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NCLT admits Sahara group subsidiary into insolvency

Sigma Supply Chain had filed a petition in December 2021 claiming that Sahara Q Shop had not paid its dues totaling ₹4.75 crore

Sahara Q Shop had been launched as a consumer packaged goods and retail business in 2012. (Mint)Premium
Sahara Q Shop had been launched as a consumer packaged goods and retail business in 2012. (Mint)

MUMBAI : The National Company Law Tribunal has ordered insolvency proceedings against a Sahara Group subsidiary, deciding that a dispute raised by the company against its creditor was a means to avoid paying its dues.

A Mumbai bench of the tribunal, led by Justice Kishore Vemulapalli, held that Sahara Q Shop Unique Products Range had defaulted in paying its dues to Sigma Supply Chain Solution.

Sahara Q Shop had been launched as a consumer packaged goods and retail business in 2012.

“... we find that it is a fit case for initiation of (corporate insolvency resolution process) against the corporate debtor… We find that case deserves to be admitted under (the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code)," NCLT said in its order.

The tribunal has appointed Udaykumar Bhaskar Bhat as the interim resolution, or insolvency, professional to oversee day-to-day affairs at the Sahara group company.

Sigma Supply Chain had filed a section 9 application under IBC in December 2021 claiming that Sahara Q Shop owed it 4.75 crore, and seeking to initiate insolvency proceedings against the company. 

Section 9 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code provides for an operational creditor to initiate insolvency proceedings in case of default by a corporate debtor.

NCLT in its order stated that the Sahara group company had entered into service agreements with Sigma Supply Chain for handling, storage, maintenance, administration, distribution and arrangement of goods at the company warehouse across India.

Advocates Nausher Kohli and Drishti Gudhaka represented Sigma Supply Chain while Advocates Sandip Bajaj and Ambrin Khan appeared for Sahara Q Shop.   

In submissions before the bench, Kohli stated that Sahara Q Shop had through its advocates addressed an email dated 22 September 2016 with malafide intent to avoid making payments to Sigma Supply Chain, and had made baseless allegations that Sigma Supply Chain had illegally sold goods worth Rs2.6 crore.

Sahara Q Shop, however, had not initiated legal proceedings against Sigma Supply Chain, he pointed out. 

Sahara Q Shop’s counsel contended that Sigma Supply Chain’s petition was untenable before law and was liable to be dismissed. 

The NCLT bench in its order stated that the dispute raised by the corporate debtor, Sahara Q Shop, was a way to escape paying legitimate dues owed to the operational creditor, Sigma Supply Chain.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Priyanka Gawande
Priyanka Gawande is a senior legal correspondent at Mint. She has worked as legal reporter for four years with both television and digital mediums. Based in Mumbai, she reports on disputes across sectors including banking, corporates and finance. This also includes insolvency and bankruptcy cases and intellectual property rights (IPR) litigation. Her focus also comprises tracking capital markets and disputes relating to securities law. Previously, Priyanka worked with Informist Media for 2.5 years covering major insolvency and bankruptcy cases and corporate developments. She started her career in journalism with Business Television India (BTVi) where she reported on primary markets, banking, finance and insurance companies.
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Published: 08 Dec 2023, 07:37 PM IST
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